"I was happy with what I did once I was already on the ground, like...staying poised, staying controlled, not panicking and being able to avoid submissions and getting back to my feet, but the one thing I wasn't happy with was the fact that I even hit the ground. I showed submission defense and I showed a better confidence on the ground, being under somebody, but I didn't execute the takedown defense like we had been planning on doing and the way we trained to do it."
Much of the credit for his gains on the ground go to his coaches and teammates at the Death Clutch gym in Minnesota, Barry said. While some fans seem to believe that the gym has folded up shop ever since its most famous member -- former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar -- announced his retirement, Barry insisted the rest of the team was "still marching forward; we're just down one man."
"We still have [Bellator heavyweight champion] Cole Konrad, and when you have a Cole Konrad, you don't really need much else," Barry added. "That dude is a monster."
According to Barry, the Death Clutch gym has turned out to be the perfect place to deal with his weaknesses as an MMA fighter -- namely staying on his feet and out of submissions in a division populated with much larger fighters.
"There's no secret to the flaws in my game. ...What I did was I went and found a gym that consists of giant wrestlers who all do [jiu-jitsu], and with [Rodrigo] 'Comprido' [Medeiros], a seven-time world champion who is a super-stud on the ground. So I found a room with a bunch of guys who are a lot bigger than I am, they all wrestle and they all do jiu-jitsu. ...What better thing [is there] for me to do?"
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